It's tempting to dismiss Emilia Wickstead. Her brand is just…so…posh. The shop in Belgravia. Her background as a made-to-measure designer for those to the manor born. That stuff in the notes at her show today about Marella Agnelli, Gloria Guinness, C. Z. Guest, and Babe Paley being "society swans." Good god! That's the kind of thing to make a person want to grab a scythe and have a go at members of the .0001 percent.

And yet. Even the dabbling Marxist must admit that Wickstead is a very good designer. The clothes she showed this season—her second doing ready-to-wear—were atavistically polite, but they were sneaky, too. Wickstead knows how to cut the decorousness with a weird touch, like the splash of chartreuse on a crisp white dress, or the exaggerated flare of a peplum. And she's not above a little tasteful sexiness. But her best trick is her boldness with material. A simple sleeveless black dress with a full skirt, for instance, got much of its punch from the tonal leaf print it was made from. There was something a little off about that print, and it made the look special. And Wickstead had a thing of glory, too, in her superluxurious hand-painted fabrics done in a cool, abstract check pattern. A broad skirt in the material, slit cheekily high, looked pretty edgy paired with a top of black and white striped silk. Sigh. Rich girls really do have it all.